Portal:Book of Mormon

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The Book of Mormon Portal

The Book of Mormon published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The Book of Mormon is one of the sacred texts of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, named after the prophet-historian Mormon who, according to the text, compiled most of the book. It was published by the founder of the Church, Joseph Smith, Jr., in March 1830 in Palmyra, New York, USA. Its purpose, as stated on its title page, "is to show the remnant of the House of Israel what great things the Lord has done for their fathers" and to convince "Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself to all nations."

Joseph Smith, Jr. said the book was a translation of Golden Plates. He said that the angel Moroni told him the plates were buried in a hill near his home (which he later called the Hill Cumorah). He said the translation was made through the power of God with aid of the Urim and Thummim, which were with the plates. During the production of the work Smith obtained the affidavits of Three Witnesses and Eight Witnesses who testified they saw and handled the plates. These affidavits are published as part of the Book. When the book was complete, he said he returned the plates to the angel Moroni.

Along with the Bible, which is also held by Latter Day Saints to be the Word of God as far as it is translated correctly, the Book of Mormon is esteemed as part of canon by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Community of Christ, The Church of Jesus Christ and other churches that claim Joseph Smith as their founder. In 1982, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints added the subtitle Another Testament of Jesus Christ to its editions of the book to help clarify and emphasize its purpose. Prior to 1982, some editions of the Book of Mormon had included the subtitle, A Second Testament of Jesus Christ.

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Depiction of the Tree of life vision from the Book of Mormon
(in the LDS Conference Center).

The First Book of Nephi (pronounced /ˈniːfaɪ/) is the first book of the Book of Mormon. Its full title is The First Book of Nephi: His Reign and Ministry. The book is usually referred to as First Nephi and abbreviated as "1 Ne.". It is a first-person narrative, beginning around 600 BC, of a prophet named Nephi. The Second Book of Nephi is a continuation of this narrative. The book begins in Jerusalem at the time of King Zedekiah, where Nephi's father, Lehi, has a vision, wherein he sees God the Father, Christ, and the twelve apostles. Lehi is also made aware of the imminent Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem. Hence as a result of this experience, Lehi begins to preach repentance to his people. As with the other prophets living at that time, such as Jeremiah, they reject his teachings and attempt to kill him. In a dream, God commands Lehi to leave Jerusalem with his family (which include his wife, Sariah, and his four sons Laman, Lemuel, Sam, and Nephi). Yet almost immediately upon their exile, Lehi is commanded by God to send his sons back to Jerusalem to retrieve the brass plates. The brass plates are a record similar to what the Old Testament is, owned by Laban, a powerful leader in Jerusalem. Nephi returns with his brothers and after several failed attempts, where Laban even tries to steal Lehi's property and murder his sons, become frustrated. Laman and Lemuel take out their frustration by beating Nephi. An angel appears and commands Laman and Lemuel to stop beating Nephi and return to retrieve the plates. One of the great visions of this book is Lehi's vision of the tree of life.

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Did you know...

...Smith obtained the affidavits of Three Witnesses and Eight Witnesses who testified they saw the plates?

...Mark Twain called the Book of Mormon "chloroform in print"?

...the Book of Mormon contains extensive quotes from the prophet Isaiah? - some twenty-two chapters of the prophet are found in the Book, in many cases quoted verbatim from the King James Version.

...LDS scholars believe they have located several plausible locations for the land Bountiful, as well as the place Bountiful where the Book of Mormon says Lehi camped and the harbour where it says Nephi built his ship for the purpose of crossing the ocean to come to the Americas?

...in the early 1950s, M. Wells Jakeman of the BYU Department of Archaeology suggested a complicated scene carved on Stela 5 in Izapa was a depiction of a Book of Mormon event called Lehi's dream, which features a vision of the tree of life?

...Vincenzo Di Francesca was excommunicated from the Methodist church; for preaching the Book of Mormon; without knowing its title?

...the ancient Mesoamerican legend of Quetzalcoatl, depicted in some versions as "the bearded white god", is interpreted by some Latter-day Saints as a depiction of the actual visit of Jesus to the Americas?

...non-LDS scholars state there is no historical or archaeological evidence of the Book of Mormon?

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Selected history

The Ten Commandments

The Book of Mosiah is one of the books which make up the Book of Mormon. The title refers to Mosiah, a king of the Nephites at Zarahemla. The book covers the time period between ca 130 BC and 91 BC, except for when the book has a flashback into the Record of Zeniff, which starts at ca 200 BC, according to footnotes. Noah is a wicked king. He is one of the more favorite villains among Book of Mormon readers. He collects exorbitant taxes from his people to build a palace and he and his ministers live a life of comfort, ease and self indulgence. His wicked ways lead the whole colony into wickedness. Then along comes a man named Abinadi. He is a holy man, a prophet, and he begins to preach that they must repent. He speaks against King Noah and prophecies that he will be killed if he doesn't repent. Abinadi is arrested and brought before King Noah where he gives what is considered a very important discourse in the Book of Mormon (chapters 12-16). Abinadi asks the ministers what they preach and they respond that they preach the Law of Moses. Abinadi then tells them that they ought to teach the Law of Moses, but rebukes them for not obeying it themselves, including the Ten Commandments, which he quotes to them. Abinadi then continues to explain that the Law of Moses is a teaching method to prepare people for the coming of Jesus Christ.

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The ruins of Palenque. Many Mormons believe that Zarahemla was like this city in Mesoamerica

According to the Book of Mormon, the Land of Zarahemla (popularly attributed to Biblical Hebrew זֶרַע חֶמְלָה Zéraʻ Ḥemlā "seed of compassion") was the Nephite capital for many years, and it was discovered by Mosiah sometime between 323 and 130 B.C. Its original inhabitants were Jews who went out from Jerusalem at the time of Zedekiah, the last king of Judah, and were called the Mulekites. The city of Zarahemla was named after a man who was present in Zarahemla when Mosiah discovered it. Zarahemla is first mentioned in the Book of Omni. Zarahemla's descendants include Ammon of Zarahemla, who led the quest to find those who had gone in search of Lehi-Nephi and Coriantumr, who led the Lamanites in battle against the Nephites.

Selected biography

Moroni, son of Mormon

Mormon is the prophet in The Book of Mormon after whom the book is named. According to the Introduction and the account of Joseph Smith, Jr., Mormon was the prophet-historian who engraved the book on Golden Plates. Latter Day Saints believe Mormon was a Nephite prophet who lived in the Americas during the 4th century AD.

The Book of Mormon reports that Mormon was instructed by the prophet Ammaron where to find the records that had been passed down from their ancestors. It also claims that Mormon later abridged the near-millennium-long history of his ancestors, a more ancient people, and additional revelations into the Book of Mormon. The divisions of Mormon attributed to the prophet are the Words of Mormon and the first seven chapters of the larger book. Mormon eventually passed all of the records on to his son Moroni.

Book of Mormon news

Quotes

THE BOOK OF MOSIAH CHAPTER 13 Abinadi is protected by divine power—He teaches the Ten Commandments—Salvation does not come by the law of Moses alone—God himself shall make an atonement and redeem his people. About 148 B.C.

11 And now I read unto you the remainder of the commandments of God, for I perceive that they are not written in your hearts; I perceive that ye have studied and taught iniquity the most part of your lives.

12 And now, ye remember that I said unto you: Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of things which are in heaven above, or which are in the earth beneath, or which are in the water under the earth.

13 And again: Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them; for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquities of the fathers upon the children, unto the third and fourth generations of them that hate me;

14 And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.

15 Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

16 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

17 Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work;

18 But the seventh day, the sabbath of the Lord thy God, thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates;

19 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is; wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

20 Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

21 Thou shalt not kill.

22 Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal.

23 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

24 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor’s.

25 And it came to pass that after Abinadi had made an end of these sayings that he said unto them: Have ye taught this people that they should observe to do all these things for to keep these commandments?

26 I say unto you, Nay; for if ye had, the Lord would not have caused me to come forth and to prophesy evil concerning this people.

27 And now ye have said that salvation cometh by the law of Moses. I say unto you that it is expedient that ye should keep the law of Moses as yet; but I say unto you, that the time shall come when it shall no more be expedient to keep the law of Moses.

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